Listen: Remembering Cher's 2000 Internet-Exclusive Album 'not.com.mercial'

Tuesday May 11, 2021

The artwork for Cher's album, "not.com.mercial."
The artwork for Cher's album, "not.com.mercial."  

Over her long career, Cher has released 26 full-length albums, becoming one of the world's top-selling female recording artists of all time. But some fans of the legendary musician and LGBTQ icon may have forgotten her 23rd album from 2000, "not.com.mercial" (or "Not Commercial").

Perhaps ahead of her time, the album was released exclusively online through her website, Cher.com, via Isis Records and Artist Direct. "not.com.mercial" followed her previous effort "Believe" from 1998, which marked Cher's surprising move to dance and club music and spawned hits like "Believe" and "Strong Enough."

According to the album's Wikipedia page, Cher penned the songs in 1994 "while attending a semiannual songwriters' workshop hosted by entertainment executive Miles Copeland III in his castle in France." When she came back to the U.S., "Cher enlisted members of David Letterman's CBS Orchestra to record the album. After completing it, she presented the album to her recording company, which declined the material for being 'not commercial.' Cher kept the album for six years before deciding to release it through the Internet only."

The article goes on to note that critics gave the album positive reviews but called it "very un-Cher like," adding that she had no expectations for the album and said she only released it for those interested in the music.

The article also notes: "A contest was set for those who bought the album. Three copies included a 'golden ticket' and five copies a 'silver ticket,' inspired by the film 'Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.' Winners of the golden ticket were awarded a trip for two to meet Cher in London, while the silver ticket holders received a Cher doll from Mattel."

The album has 10 tracks, with many of the songs co-written by Bruce Roberts, Bob Thiele, Pat MacDonald and others. The bonus track, "Classified 1A," gives Cher's late ex-husband, Sonny Bono, a writing credit.

"not.com.mercial" isn't on streaming services but it is available on YouTube. Listen below.

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